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Case of Spring Fever, A

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Case of Spring Fever, A

Published 1940

Gilbert Willoughby is punished for voicing Luddite ideas (complaining about pesky springs) by "Coily," an obnoxious, animated spring who subjects him to the hassles of a springless world.

Run time 8:15
Producer Handy (Jam) Organization
Sponsor Chevrolet Motor Company
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W



Combining "an animated spring sprite" with live action, A Case of Spring Fever relates the story of one Gilbert Willoughby and his punishment for espousing Luddite ideas. While trying to fix a sofa, Gilbert becomes entangled with an old boxspring. In his frustration, he wishes for an end to springs. "Coily" (the sprite) appears and grants his wish, laughing hellishly as Gilbert encounters rock-hard car seats, doors that won't close, and telephone dials that won't turn. Humiliated at every juncture, Gilbert finally capitulates. He is forced to apologize to Coily and expresses appreciation for the comfort and value of springs in everyday life Ñ particularly the springs in the Chevrolet motorcar.
This film combines two features that will be familiar to fans of industrial films: the product personified as a being with human characteristics, and the "how could we survive without ---" syndrome. It runs short, sweet, and not too preachy; something for which to be grateful, as Coily is one of the most obnoxious and irritating animated characters ever created.

woman sitting speaking on rotary phone, she leans away from receiver as if speaking to someone in the room, camera pans to golf bag leaning against wall.
MS living room, man lying on floor with head under sofa, one side of sofa is higher off floor.
CU man lying under sofa, coil shaped little man appears in frame speaking.
CU birds-eye view man lying on floor looking up through a bunch of wires and coils, he is sweating.
MCU coiled man standing on open book, speaking.
MCU coiled man standing on open book, speaking.
CU man lying on floor along with coiled man who is speaking.
CU man lying on floor looking up through wires and coils
CU man lying on floor along with coiled man who is speaking.
CU grid of springs and coils spinning around, they fade of out shot
man lying on floor, sits up in between sofa that has no cushions or center, looks around, scratches head, reaches into pocket and takes out watch, looks at it, shakes it, puts it to ear, opens it.
CU man's hand holding watch with coiled man sitting on watch's face, laughing, turns into smoke.
MCU man sitting in sofa that has no cushions looking at his watch, closes it, stands up, approaches door, pulls down shade.
MCU coiled man sitting on top of shade, speaking, pointing, laughing.
MS man standing in living room, picks up jacket and places it over his arm, looks downward.
CU golf bag
MCU man, approaches phone, sits down, picks up receiver, begins to dial.
CU rotary phone being dialed, but it does not dial.
CU rotary phone, coiled man in one of the dial holes, laugh, pops out through another hole.
MS man hanging up phone as if angry puts on jacket while looking at phone, approaches golf bag, picks it up, along with pair of shoes, walks out of frame.
out side shot of a door, man opens it from inside, walks out, shuts door behind him, but it does not stay shut.
open door from outside
MCU man, turns, approaches door, shuts it,(holding shoes in hand) wiggles, stops, turns to look behind him, waves arm and has facial expression that indicates he is saying 'shoot', turns, lifts up golf bag, walks out of frame.
man getting into car, sits down, does not seem comfortable, places hand on seat, pushes on it while looking at it.
CU man in car looking down, coiled man appears, laughing, man looks at coiled man, coiled man disappears.
man sitting on drivers side of car, reaches over to shut passenger door, it pops back open, he looks at it strangely, sees glove compartment open, attempts to close it but it will not stay closed; he then moves back and forth in seat.
CU man's feet
CU coiled man laughing, car petals in BG
CU man's face, looking down, speaking
CU coiled man rubbing chin, speaking and pointing, frame turns and begins to shrink to center of next frame , it disappears changing into a grid of coils and springs, spinning as this is happening.
man lying with head under sofa, he moves out, stands up, takes cloth out of pocket, wipes forehead, bends down pushing on sofa springs, then sits down bouncing on them, stands back up, reaches in pocket, takes out watch places it to ear, smiles, looks at it smiling and taps it, he places it back into his pocket and begins to walk out of shot.
Man sits down, golf bag against legs, picks up phone receiver and begins to dial phone, smiling.
3 men playing golf, teeing off, fourth man enters frame, he tee's off, then the 4 men watch the ball to see were it lands.
golf ball rolling across grass
MCU 4 men on golf course watching one another tee off.
MS man preparing to tee off, 3 other men are watching him
MCU man hitting golf ball
golf ball rolling across grass
2 men in reaction shot, they look at each other, one man shakes head
VS men teeing off
man throws golf club on ground, walks behind 3 other men, picks up golf bag.
4 men on putting green, putting golf balls
MCU man hitting golf ball into hole
4 men placing golf bags in trunk of car
4 men opening car doors, placing on jackets
MCU man placing on jacket, looks up at sky, then points, man behind
him looks up also.
VS plane flying, goes through clouds; plane traveling down run way.
two men getting in car
car traveling down road
MCU car with 4 men passengers, 2 men in back are looking at piece of paper, they hand it to passenger in front, he looks at it, smirks and crosses arms.(while this is going on the driver is speaking)
shot from back seat of car, 2 men in front seat, sign in road ahead that indicates detour, passenger turns, gives thumbs up while winking eye.
2 men seated in back of car, they look at each other, smiling.
CU front car tire in motion, shot pans to back tire
MCU 4 men riding in car
2 men in back seat sleeping
shot from back seat of car of front seat, driver begins to pull car over to side of street; car coming to stop on side of road; MCU car driver and front passenger from side of car, passenger is asleep, driver wakes him up, he yawns and stretches, they begin to get out of the car, driver slides across seat and sits on passenger side facing out of the open car door, he is looking at piece of paper. He hands piece of paper to man standing next to him, man sitting stands up and begins to roll up car window, other man is ripping up piece of paper, throwing it on ground, other man turns speaking to him looks down at front seat placing hand on it; CU man's hand on seat, pushing on it, coiled man appears in frame, laughing, then the picture fades to black.



Reviewer: JayKay49 - favoritefavorite - February 23, 2012
Subject: Jam Handy Did This?
Like, for who? What audience was this aimed at? I mean, really! Must have been some down time on E.Grand Blvd that year.
Reviewer: ERD. - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 5, 2009
Subject: Cute and informative
Not bad for a 1940 informative film. Kept up my interest.
Reviewer: OCSDDC - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 26, 2007
Subject: Momma's boy
Ok, two things:

1) "Sorry, boys, but Gilbert can't come out to play, he's doing some work for me today" ..... Isn't Gilbert a little old to be living at home with his mother? WTF? Gee, Gil, maybe it's time to grow a pair, ya think?

2) "See, the property of the spring is to absorb energy, and then release it!" Was it me, or did the guy who was trying to play golf while he was talking have a thought balloon pop up over his head reading "Buddy, your HEAD is going to absorb some energy, you keep busting our b*lls about springs!"
Reviewer: Love thy neighbour - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 30, 2006
Subject: Big Ears
What's with the big ears on the springy guy? Doesn't he scare you too?!
Reviewer: GE_Pretzel - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 31, 2005
Subject: Don't take springs for granted
After watching this short film for a few minutes, you may accidentally recoil from your seat after laughing at the bizarre, springless dystopia that it presents. Watching Gilbert dispense his newfound knowledge of the purposes that springs serve to his cohorts on the golf course is particularly entertaining. Hilarious!
Reviewer: Karma Hawk - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 25, 2005
Subject: Great film
this film is so hilariously bizzare that I don't know where to begin. Ok so our protagonist is working on fixing a couch when he wishes thier weren't any springs all of a sudden a demonic spring named "Coiley" tells him that he's got his wish and from now on thier will be "no more springs." Our protagonist then attempts to do various everyday things only to find it nearly inmpossible to do them without springs, (each time he's mocked by Coiley who taunts "No more Springs") Finally our protagonist relizes the error of his ways and asks to take back his wish Coiley agrees. You might think this would be the end of the movie but here it's just the halfway mark, now our protagonist is so obsessed with springs he yacks his mouth to his friends about all the wonderfull things springs do. Odd little film that's great for a laugh.
Reviewer: Tavish McDonell - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 25, 2004
Subject: hysterically funny and bizarre journey into a world without springs
In terms of sheer entertainment, this is absolutely one of the top ten films available on this great site. The filmmakers probably intended Coily to be cute and amusing (what else could a crudely animated spring be?), but he takes on a weirdly sinister and disturbing character.

The fact that this film mentions no brands and serves no obvious commercial purpose allows it to get in under our radar for screening out advertising. They did it for the love of springs, by gumbo! On a more serious note, we're reminded of the ludicrously mechanized nature of modern Western society, and how we're unable to cope when the world fails to meet our (i.e. engineers') narrow expectations of how it ought to function. In the absurd figure of Coily, industrial society grants our "wishes" until we realize that we didn't know what we were wishing for. To escape, Gilbert must acknowledge that he is less important and less powerful than the Platonic form of the Spring--and of course, he's right.

I noticed the parallel with the Simpsons episode mentioned by another reviewer. Unless there's another film in this astonishing "genre," this must have been the prototype for the world without zinc.
Reviewer: HuckleberryFinn - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 13, 2004
Spring appreciation, at it's finest/worst/only. Coily, a sentient spring with an elf head and magic powers, shows all of us why springs are so important. I'm not sure why this film was made. I've never met anyone who took an anti-spring stance. Well, now I do, but that's only cause Coily scares the dickens out of me.

This film gets 5 stars for simultaneously freaking me out and serving no purpose.
Reviewer: trafalgar - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 17, 2004
Subject: An absolute classic
Highly recommended! This could be the definitive film of it's genre (whatever that is). After an ill-considered wish for a world without springs, our protagonist has a psychotic episode, and becomes a spring evangelist.
This bears a suspicious resemblance to the Simpsons parody "The World Without Zinc"--all that's missing is Troy McClure.
Now to find the source material for "Two Minus Three Equals Negative Fun", "Lead Paint: Delicious But Deadly" or the famed Meat Council film "Meat And You: Partners in Freedom"...
Reviewer: Steve Nordby - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 27, 2003
Subject: Coily the paperclip
Gilbert, frustrated with sofa seat repair, wishes springs out of the world. Evil animated Coily-the-spring grants the wish and keeps popping up worse than a Microsoft paper clip. It isn't really a problem for Gilbert until he can't drive his Chevrolet for lack of springs. When Coily pops up, Gilbert wishes his wish away, and in return becomes a scientician orating about springs. Especially those that produce the smooth ride of a modern motorcar, which he is fortunate enough not to have his pals drive over him in order to demonstrate.
Reviewer: Kold War Kid - favoritefavoritefavorite - July 9, 2003
Subject: Ha,ha,ha...
I first saw this on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, where it was even funnier and creepier with the comments made by Mike and the robots. I love the part at the golf course after the guy "gets religion" from Coily (he IS a creepy so-and-so, isn't he?)The expressions on the faces of his golf partners are great, no doubt thinking about how to get away with burying the motormouth in a sandtrap.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 26, 2003
Subject: Creepy
Have you ever wondered what life would be like without springs?


Well, neither have I. In this Jim Handy production, Coily the spring appears and convinces a man that springs play an important part of our lives. Coily is one creepy animated character, with his evil laugh. Anyways, Coily convinces the man that springs are important. Then the male character can't stop talking about it, boring his friends to sleep. Quite a funny little short.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 15, 2002
Subject: A Case of Spring Fever
A poor shmoe repairing a sofa wishes he would never see another spring again. Suddenly, Coily, an incredibly evil sprite, appears and answers his wish. Now his watch doesn't work, the dial on his telephone won't function properly, and he can't even close the doors of his car, much less get it to start. Each time he discovers the consequences of a missing spring, Coily taunts him in an incredibly annoying voice. Finally, the guy cracks and apologizes to Coily, who relents and returns springs to the world, but only in exchange for the poor guy's soul. The guy becomes an insufferable spring promoter, talking endlessly about Coily's kin until he drives all his friends away. This film was sponsored by GM, but it's hard to tell why, unless they too were victims of demonic possession.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****. Also available on Assignement Venezuela and Other Shorts and Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Episode #1012: Squirm.
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